While the Republicans try to force a default of the American Nation with such tactics as “scholarship grants are for communists,” the Democrats are engaged in an exciting game of catch-up. “Oh,” Obama might say, looking thoughtfully at his hands, “Pell Grants are communist? Well then, I offer a compromise of shutting down Medicare and turning our National Parks into private endangered-species hunting camps run by Ted Nugent. What else can we do?” Meanwhile, the U.S. Economy is rolling along — rolling down, fast. Turns out the 2008-2009 recession was far worse than economists could comprehend at the time, even though it was very clear to actual working people that we had plunged into a long and perhaps permanent downturn. And while economists are still pretending the “recovery” is something real and not just more double-your-money fun for America’s millionaires and billionaires, they’re finally admitting that once they fudge their numbers another percent, we’re actually already in a second recession.
The report also showed the current slowdown began earlier and has been deeper than previously thought, with growth in the first quarter advancing at only a 0.4 percent annual pace.
The data indicated the economy began slowing in the fourth quarter of last year before high gasoline prices and supply chain disruptions from Japan’s earthquake had hit, suggesting the weakness is more fundamental and less temporary than economists had believed.
So, uh, things are going to get a lot worse, and they were worse than we previously thought, and this whole Default/No Government Spending thing is probably going to reduce most Americans to eating each other’s poop. [Reuters]